Archive for January, 2010

Amazing acrobatic stunts and tricks

Monday, January 18th, 2010

This isn't related to judo except through a tenuous martial arts angle, but it's too cool not to share.

Extra footage and outtakes:

"Judo Saga" is playing Monday

Saturday, January 16th, 2010

[CORRECTION: I said it was at the IFC, but it's at the Film Forum.]

Akira Kurosawa's Judo Saga (Sugata Sanshiro) and Judo Saga II (Zoku Sugata Sanshiro) are playing at the Film Forum on Monday, which is also Martin Luther King Day, meaning many of us will have the day off and will have time to go see one or both. (Note: Oishi Judo will be closed that day, giving you even more time.)

From Wikipedia:

Sanshiro Sugata (姿三四郎 Sugata Sanshirō, aka Judo Saga) was the directorial debut of the Oscar-winning Japanese film director Akira Kurosawa. It was first released in Japan on 25 March 1943 by Toho film studios, eventually being released in the United States on 28 April 1974 and is based on the novel of the same name by Tsuneo Tomita. It follows the story of Sanshiro, a strong stubborn youth, who travels into the city in order to learn Jujutsu. However, upon his arrival he discovers a new form of self-defence: Judo. The main character is based on Shiro Saigo, a legendary judoka.

The film is seen as an early example of Kurosawa's immediate grasp of the film-making process, and includes many of his directorial trademarks, such as the use of wipes. The film itself was quite influential at the time, and has been remade on no less than five occasions. It spawned a sequel, Sanshiro Sugata Part II, which was released in 1945.

I will go see both for sure. I just need to decide on a showtime.

The most excellent Hidden Fortress, also by Kurosawa and the direct inspiration for Star Wars, is playing today at 3:40, 6:20, and 9:00. I'd love to see the 9:00 show, but will have to see if I have time.

Here's a trailer for Sanshiro Sugata (presumably the film quality at the IFC will be better):

And here's a trailer for Hidden Fortress: